July 26, 2004

Road Trip

One of the perils of being a military kid is that it tends to give one a bad case of chronic cyclical wanderlust. It gets terribly difficult to remain in one place, in any one situation for more than a few years without that stirring deep inside that begs to be released.

Maps and brochures and airline ads begin to cast their intended spell, and defenses weaken. The car is made more travel-worthy, and a selection of snacks mysteriously is secreted away, "just in case".

One day, on awakening and looking at the alarm clock with cheerfully goads you into wakefulness once again, that inner voice says it is time. A small bag is packed, sometimes no more than a fresh change of underwear and socks in a grocery bag, the car is gassed up, and the first road is taken.

Rarely does it matter which road. Almost any road is just fine most of the time. Other times, there's definite destination picked because it is either very frivolous, or very unexpected, but seldom both. It's as if the destination is as theraputic as the drive itself.

Rock City, Mammoth Cave, some obscure BBQ joint you saw on television... A person you know but haven't seen in years or one you simply want to meet and get to know...

So you drive. The radio voices change along the way every couple of hours, and the terrain grows flatter or more prominent. The look of the road signs change, and the flavors and sounds of the voices change too.

Hot coffee in the morning, a soft drink in the afternoon, and the destination looms closer. Check the wallet, fluff the hair, smooth the road-rumples from your clothes, and step into the moment. Chatting up the waitress at some truckstop. Sharing the counter space with the locals. Read the local paper and check the horoscope before starting the last leg of your journey.

Good food, good company, old friends and new friends.

It's time for a road trip.

Posted by Mamamontezz at July 26, 2004 06:56 PM

Go, before it's gone. Summer

Posted by: Jack at July 26, 2004 09:54 PM

I have the same problem. It's why I don't want to become an over-the-road driver, or an owner/operator of a semi. Nor do I wish to own a motorcyle, nor would it be a good idea for me to get a pilot's license. All of those would afford me far too much freedom for my own good.

"Where are you going?"
"Don't know. I'll let you know when I get there."

I still keep a mental list of everything I would pack in one hour or less if I just decided to pack up and leave. Which I am close to doing soon.

Posted by: the Humble Devildog at July 26, 2004 11:04 PM

When I was stationed in Las Vegas, my roommate and I would often choose our road trips by throwing darts at a US map. We went as far as Georgia in a 48 hour window. We frequently traveled to Arizona, Utah and California. These trips were never planned, always spur of the moment and normally involved nearly non-stop driving for as much as three days. If it turned out that we had the same day (or two) off of work we would get out the darts “pick” a destination and hit the road. I saw more of America in those 5 years than I did in the rest of my life. It can be very refreshing to escape the norm.

SlagleRock Out!

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